The annual Temech Conference took place a few weeks ago in Yerushalayim, at the Ramada Hotel. Anyone who knows anything about the Ramada in Yerushalayim knows that the food there is absolutely decadent!
So what’s a girl to do when she’s a health coach and people assume I’m going to just eat salad and avoid dessert like the plague? (Yes, people really said that to me!)
Well, I want to show you how you can be normal around food — fully enjoying the food at a gourmet restaurant and keeping yourself from overeating.
Let me start by showing you the food on my plate:
Looks good, right? It was.
In the first picture, we have a piece of herbed fish and potatoes in cream. And then on that second plate, well, there’s a lot going on there.
So on that second plate, what you see is – a blintz. What you see peeking out from under the blintz is a piece of halva. And there’s a fresh salad. A piece of broccoli quiche. And then there are some roasted vegetables — green beans, sweet potatoes, and zucchini.
You better believe that I walked out with my two plates very proudly.
But lest you think that I just walked into the dining hall, filled up my plates, ate and walked out, read on.
There were three steps I took to make sure that I ate until I felt comfortably full and not beyond that.
Here are the three steps I went through, and you can use them as a guide for yourself.
Step #1: I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted!
I knew that the food was going to be delicious. I walked into the dining hall and gave myself complete and utter permission to eat anything and everything I wanted. I had full permission to eat whatever I wanted. And so that’s why I filled up my plates. I walked around the room and took whatever looked interesting to me.
Step #2: I tasted the food to see if I liked it, and ate only what I enjoyed!
When I sat down I knew for sure that there were going to be things I didn’t like taste-wise, or I would eat it and realize that there was something in it that I knew would make me feel not well later. So that’s what I did next — I tasted the food.
I started with the potatoes, because I love potatoes! I took one bite of them, and I realized that they had a certain spice in them that gives me headaches, and I didn’t even like the flavor of them, so I had that one little bite of the potatoes and I left the rest.
I went on to eat the fish. I took a bite and I really enjoyed it and I ate that up.
Next I tried the sweet potatoes and realized that while they were good, I wasn’t really enjoying them and didn’t want the second one, and I still had all that other food on my plate.
I ate about 3/4 of the blintz which was also very delicious. I didn’t finish it because it was a bit too sweet for me, and I stopped enjoying it at that point.
What is interesting to me as I’m writing this up is that in hindsight I don’t really remember how much I ate of everything else on my plate. I know that there was about half of the food left over, but I couldn’t tell you how much of each food.
When I saw that what I was eating didn’t do it for me, I stopped eating that food. There was no point going back to it because it wasn’t enjoyable. The fact that it was on my plate was not a reason to eat it.
Which brings us to…
Step #3: I noticed when I was comfortably full and stopped eating!
I already mentioned that I only ate about half of the food on my plate. I was satiated.
The “problem” was that I didn’t have room for dessert! I was feeling full.
In this case, there was another hour left for lunch. I had plenty of time to continue sitting there and enjoying the company that I was with, laughing with them and having a great time networking. It was a really wonderful experience. There was no rush to go and get dessert, and so I waited. I waited until I felt like I had room for dessert. Dessert was there waiting for me — we were sitting at the table right next to it! When I was ready, I went and chose my dessert for myself. I once again gave myself permission to eat anything I wanted, and I chose some chocolate ice cream and frozen cheesecake. (Sorry — no picture of that!) I sat down to eat them and really enjoyed the cool, refreshing dessert. And I was able to savor every bite.
So there you have it! That’s how I was able to enjoy lunch a gourmet lunch in a restaurant, without overeating even the foods that I liked, that I wanted to eat and the way that I felt was appropriate to indulge myself on that day.
Do any of these steps sound like something you could apply next time you are at a simcha? At a nice restaurant? On Shabbos? What other steps have you found that work for you? Let me know in the comments! I read each one.